“Rhythm Kitchen”:https://rhythmkitchen.co/walthamstow/ is a small Caribbean restaurant in Walthamstow, London E17. The owner, Delroy Dixon, is a local pin up boy for Waltham Forest Council for his entrepreneurial spirit in establishing a family run business. We knew that the restaurant had over 100 rums and that all the jerk curry and barbecue marinades were made by hand
Those who have read my review of the “Princess of Wales”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/restaurant/208777-review-princess-of-wales will know I’m a sucker for a travel related competition, so when the Guardian requested tips for favourite UK restaurants with overseas flavours, Rhythm Kitchen was an obvious choice as I could link it with our trip to Jamaica to discover long lost relatives. But having won the competition in April, I naughtily used my partner’s name and whilst ‘our’ entry didn’t win the prize, it was published.
Having sent the Guardian link to Delroy, he suggested we should drop by for a couple of rums on the house. We reserved for the Sunday of the late May bank holiday at 6pm. This was probably not a good move as on entering what is a relatively small restaurant, we found a large family group of four very noisy, excited children and four equally noisy adults. We hoped they were coming towards the end of their meal, but sadly they weren’t.
So, amidst the din, we gratefully accepted the complimentary May offer of a free coconut rum punch whilst browsing the fairly short “menu”:https://rhythmkitchen.co/walthamstow/#menu. I opted for the quarter of a jerk chicken, whilst Roy chose one of the specials, jerk lamb chops. Both came with two sides of our choice, and we selected rice and peas, jerk chips, fried plantain and coleslaw.
Although there is a limited wine list, we decided cocktails (2 for £12 during happy ‘hour’ of 5pm to 8pm) might dull the noise of our fellow diners and the excruciating noise of chairs being scraped along the hard floor.
Although there was only the family group dining, the restaurant was doing a roaring take-away trade and we waited 30 minutes for our food. However, it was worth waiting for. What the chicken lacked in size, it more than made up for in taste with blackened spicy skin. Roy also enjoyed his lamb chops, and the sides were pretty large and certainly sufficient for sharing. The chips were simply seasoned with jerk spices rather than being doused in the jerk gravy which accompanied our dishes, the fried plantain were soft and sweet and the rice and peas delicious. The coleslaw was a slight let down and appeared shop bought rather than homemade.
The spicy daiquiri, served in a jam-jar with environmentally friendly paper straw, was refreshing with lots of lovely fresh mint which helped counteract the spicy food.
As the evening wore on, the restaurant busied up and when the waitress cleared our plates, we said Delroy had promised a couple of rums on the house. She asked if we’d be happy with their recommendation and brought out two bottles of “Don Papa”:https://www.donpaparum.com/ rum from the Philippines, telling us that one had been matured in whiskey barrels but we couldn’t hear what she said about the other. We preferred the first which was smoother and with hints of vanilla. There is a separate rum menu with sections for dark, golden, spiced and flavoured and white rums with a lovely description of each. The rums come from all over the world and are served in either 25ml or 50ml shots: the smaller size are priced on average at around £4 to £5 although the Jamaican Appleton Reserva appeared to be the king of rums at £11.50.
The bill was presented and Delroy came out of the kitchen where he’d been cooking to thank us and present us with another couple of shots of rum. By now, we were not noticing the noise.
As well as the restaurant in Walthamstow, Rhythm Kitchen has a presence in the World Food Court at Westfield Shopping Center in “Stratford”:https://rhythmkitchen.co/stratford/.